Archive | April 2014

Our Day, Our Time

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Since the 1953 CIA orchestrated coup and overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, who had raised eyebrows in London and Washington by nationalizing Iran’s oil, and the return of the Shah, things had been quiet on the streets of Iran, for quite some time. So much so, in fact, that Iran was called an island of stability, among restive nations of the Middle East. Having the full support of the Empire, the Shah was feeling invincible. Thanks to the CIA, his infamous and brutal secret police, Savak, was well trained and equipped with the most effective methods and tools of torture, and quite successful in spreading fear and preventing dissent. That’s exactly what US corporations needed and wanted: a “friendly” and cooperating dictator, with the final say on all matters, who puts his own wealth and power above his people’s needs and takes his orders from US corporate headquarters in Washington, aka the US government. Poverty in this oil rich country was rampant (not saying it’s good now), and US corporations were practically running the country, just as they do their own.

In 1971, desperate for a movement, a group of Marxists-Leninists secretly got together and formed the Organization of Iranian People’s Fadayee Guerrillas (OIPFG). Fadayee in Farsi means he who sacrifices himself. The thinking was that people were no doubt suffering, but, were too afraid to take to the streets. There was no way to do any kind of political education. What was needed, they concluded, was a “spark”, by a group of people, willing to stand up to the power and face the Goliath (more like Godzilla). These brave young men and women knew the odds were stacked against them. The CIA-trained secret police was everywhere. The military was armed to its teeth with heavy weapons from the Superpower, and they took no chances and no prisoners – except to torture them before killing them. The other day, I listed on my FB page, the names of 53 of those incredibly brave women, who would put the toughest of the “tough guy” to shame with their heroics. They, along with their male comrades, started a John brown style battle with security forces that became part of modern day Iranian legend. Regardless of what one may think of the wisdom or efficacy of armed struggle against such a brutal dictatorship that was assisted by the most viscous Empire mankind has ever seen, one cannot but be in utter awe and jaw dropping admiration at the heroics of these young men and women.

Eight years later, millions and millions of Iranian people, filled every street and every square of the country, turning the streets and squares into a sea of people, marching and calling the names of those young men and women, as if to say “we heard your call. You didn’t die in vain”. All that the government and corporate officials, including the CIA, could think of was how to get the hell out of there.

Happy May Day my friends! This is our day! This is our time!

May Day Couldn’t Have Come at a More Appropriate Time This Year

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Once again, we’re living in an era of record high levels of household debt, as was the case right before the Great Depression. On average, Americans owe over $15,000 on their credit cards ($854.2 billion in total credit card debt, roughly the same amount banks and insurance companies received from the government, wiping out their debts, in 2008).

High levels of credit card debts show incomes are not keeping pace with everyday expenses for millions of people, but they also exasperate the situation, as people end up paying more of what little they do earn to banks in interest, keeping them poor and making them even poorer and the bankers happy. The absurdly high level of student loans (the average student loan is over $33,000, totaling $1,115.3 billion) are also a disaster in the making, as students, faced with dismal job market, are lured into taking huge loans, some as large as a purchase loan for a house, to get higher education, in the hopes of getting a job. The promise of good paying jobs is thus postponed to a later time. Many among the young find no choice, but to undertake such loans, due to lack of decent jobs, and most of those who graduate, soon find out that it’s still hard to get a decent job, even with the education that they will be paying for, for the rest of their lives, which essentially means they will remain in the ranks of the poor, as long as they live.

The idea of progress, that the society ought to move forward and make life better for its inhabitants, that the new generation ought to live better than the previous, seems to have been buried and forgotten. On the contrary, families are getting accustomed to the new paradigm and seem to have accepted that things will not get better, and for good reason.

Why did this change happen and what caused it? Nothing particularly strange or unusual. It’s the way the system works (or rather doesn’t). The system has worked the way it was supposed to for corporations and their owners, who are richer and more powerful than ever. Two interrelated things have helped them with their success: the attacks on and virtual defeat of labor unions, which began soon after they were formed and accelerated with urgency and intensity by President Reagan (this is one reason President Obama speaks highly of him). Also, corporations have been able to shed much of the regulatory and oversight functions of the government, much of which were implemented thanks to labor movements of the past. Their ability to buy politicians and fix elections has also increased, as has their ability to go to wars.

It’s been estimated that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were started by Bush and continued by Obama, have cost at least $4 trillion, as well as over a million lives in Iraq alone. What the US accomplished in return was to hand Iraq and its oil to US corporations, not in the sense of owning it, but controlling – both its politics and economy and it’s oil. The outcome was neither beneficial for the Iraqis, nor for the American people. Same was done in Libya, where a democracy movement was used as the pretext to get rid of an “uncooperative” dictator, who was increasingly an obstacle for the control of the continent and its resources, including its respectable amount of oil. Another country was sacrificed and left in devastation because its leader was not playing with Washington’s rules. Syria, too, which is strategically and politically important to them in their long term plan for total and complete control of the region, was an opportunity they could not pass on. Iran is next, of course, while the current breather is used to strengthen NATO’s military presence at Russia’s borders, surrounding it for future envisioned, if not yet planned, confrontation.

The point is: things are not getting better and in fact, are getting worse by the day. The American people are getting poorer and staying poor, and they’re the lucky ones, since those overseas are getting killed. The environmental ruin has reached a critical point because it’s the last thing on the list of concerns for corporations. Corporate CEO’s who in the past would set policy by buying and influencing politicians, are now getting cabinet posts, themselves, making the government a subsidiary of their company. They’re quietly merging with the government and they never cared for the well being of the people they rule over, and they never liked civil liberties for their subjects. The Obama Administration is quietly canceling Americans’ civil rights to prevent return to those days of protesting, union organizing and civil rights movement. That’s why shortly after the Occupy Wall Street movement, which was a threat to corporate rule, Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes the president, as the representative of corporations, to order anyone detained, indefinitely, by the military, in an unspecified military prison, without any charges, explanation or due process. It’s designed to make leaders of future movements disappear, decapitating the movement.

That which they try to prevent us from doing is exactly what we need to do. The Earth is in danger; peace is in danger; our health is in danger; our future is in danger. May Day is this Thursday.
The photo shows a May Day demonstration in Seattle in 2013.

The Bundy Ranch and the Right

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I understand and appreciate anarchists’ rejection of a hierarchical society. In fact, by rejecting class society, which puts a small minority of filthy rich at the top, who own and control the government, policies and policy makers and leaves the majority poor and powerless, I, too, reject hierarchy – socioeconomic hierarchy that is, which is the hierarchy that really matters and which gives rise to police brutality, widespread government spying and, at times, leads to a police state, in order to keep the ruling class rich and in power, not to mention all the injustices that accompany such wealth and power inequality. What I can’t understand and find defying logic is the indiscriminate defense by some who call themselves anarchists, of any group of gun waving people who oppose the government, regardless of their politics, ideology and beliefs and the nature of their grievance with the government. I must admit though that there is something easy and simple about anything indiscriminate: you don’t have to do much thinking or analyzing. Keep it simple, right?

If the point is to defend people’s right to bear arms, we can say that, as a matter of principle, without defending the actions of the group, which amount to a political statement, with a specific and concrete political objective, which for the group of white (I’ll explain later why that matters) ranchers and their supporters, who have descended on Mr. Bundy’s farm, is neither progressive, nor is it, in any way, shape or form, a rejection of hierarchy or oppression. Nor is their point the defense of their Second Amendment rights. Mr. Bundy is refusing to pay his fees to the Federal Government, which he owes for having his cattle graze on federal land. It’s like going to a national park owned by the Federal Government and insisting on entering and using it without paying the fee. His objection is about the fee, and if he gets his way, he basically, and for all practical purposes, will end up owning the land, and the other farmers can follow suit, which is a motivation for them to defend Mr. Bundy.

But, that’s not the whole story here. The issue of a farmer refusing to pay his fees has been exploited by some on the right and made into a political and indirectly even a racial one. The right uses every opportunity it can find to portray the government as “the problem”, as President Reagan put it, in order to eliminate or reduce, as much as possible, the role it plays on several fronts: 1) taxation: on this front, the real objection is taxing of the rich. They have no objection against employers automatically taking a portion of workers’ wages from their paychecks and sending it to the Treasury. Their objection is to the IRS going after the employers’ taxes. If they manage to make enough noise, they can bring the Democrats on board to implement flat taxation, which would be a huge boon for the rich and devastating to the already poor. 2) Government expenditures: the objection to the government here is not to the handouts and subsidies it gives to corporations and the rich, but to welfare, social safety nets and programs for the poor and their children. It has long been the holy grail for the right to eliminate such programs, which they deem wasteful since they come out of taxes, as little as theirs already are. 3) Voter Rights: much of the right, especially in the South, still have not got over the Voting Rights Act which was won by African Americans 50 years ago, and would like to reverse it. In fact, right after the Supreme Court decision last year, which took away from the Federal Government its mandate to monitor and control laws that affect voter rights in several Southern states, the latter immediately began passing laws that limit voter rights of African Americans. If 50 years ago, the method for preventing blacks from voting was to give them literacy tests, with the white testers deciding whether the answers given were correct or not, now, in those same states, it’s to demand an ID card which many, especially among the elderly don’t have.

The other issue these armed “protesters” have is having a black president. That’s what really irritates and energizes much of the white population in the South. Mr. Bundy said in an interview that he doesn’t recognize the US government, but, he has no problem riding his horse carrying the US flag! The truth of the matter is these Tea Party sympathizers and Fox News watchers (they’ve been called heroes and patriots by Fox News commentators and have been featured by Sean Hannity everyday), don’t mind the US government. What they mind is a black president, as right wing and as corporate puppet he himself is. What they mind is a government which in their minds, is ruining their country by empowering minorities and killing their traditional, white, bible and gun toting, anti-immigrant, segregationist, homophobic, xenophobic, antisemitic and misogynist American life style. But, make no mistake. These are not the fears or issues of the corporate America and Wall Street. They do just fine, in fact better, with a black puppet in the White House, who happily drones Yemeni and Pakistani brown skinned youth to death and pledges allegiance to the billionaires, giving the finger to black America which helped him win the presidency, twice. No, their issue is their corporate Empire and profits, while the social wedge issues are used to divide and keep people busy fighting one another and chasing wild geese, and scaring liberals into pacifism and supporting Democrats, no matter what, lest those Tea Party crazies take the White House. You draw your own conclusion.

Understanding the US Empire

Is the US Empire Different From the Ones That Came Before?

All empires have been about wars of conquest, plunder, enslaving and exploiting as many people as possible and bringing as much territory as possible under their influence and control and looting their resources for the enrichment of a few. Since it’s based on uneven, unjust and coercive distribution of wealth from many to few, an empire naturally depends on wars and constant threats and punishment to keep the order and keep expanding. The US Empire is no exception. But, is the US Empire qualitatively different from those that came before it? I believe it is and I don’t mean in its level of sophistication and technology, its firepower or the amount of territory and wealth it controls and exploits. What makes it different from the past empires, qualitatively, is the giant multinational corporations it is made of and represents, and its “need” and endless pursuit for profits. The need for profits is built into the economic system of capitalism that it’s founded on. Investing has to result in profit and capital must grow. It’s the logic and modus operandi of capitalism. This is why capital always goes beyond the borders of its origin, in pursuit of new sources of profits, which ultimately gives rise to imperialism and empire. In previous empires, greed was the driving force for conquering new lands and looting new riches, but, that greed was optional. It depended on a particular emperor and his associates, as to how aggressive they wanted to be. In the case of current imperialist states and US Empire, in particular, greed and pursuit of profits is built into and is a necessary part of the system. Corporations don’t decide to pursue profits as if it were an option, but, as if it’s necessity and the lifeline for their existence.

It may come as a disappointment for those who believe capitalism may be reformed and made more humane and more tolerable, but, a system that’s based on exploitation and accumulation of capital and wealth in few hands, will inevitably expand into new territories, which it will then need to control to ensure its uninhibited functioning and protect and expand its interests. And this will inevitably lead to imperialism and the rise of an empire, that cares for nothing, but the growth of capital and wealth. You can’t plant the seed of an unwanted weed and expect an apple tree to grow out of it. What a system grows into depends on its nature and character. Anything else would be surprising. So, when US policy makers say that they had to invade such and such country or overthrow such and such government, I believe them. But, they can’t honestly tell people why they had to do it. That’s why they have to come up with bogus excuses. And, that’s another sign of a corrupt economic system that it not only keeps enriching few and impoverishing the majority, and keeps going to wars, it also understandably and consequently can’t level with people as to their true motives and reasons. Public deception is another necessary byproduct of an unjust economic system. That’s why they constantly have to brainwash, misinform and distract.

The US government itself is not the empire. The corporations and their owners, collectively and as a class, are. The government acts as the facilitator, enforcer and agent of the empire and through its representatives, lobbyists, mercenaries, think tanks, researchers, economists, sociologists, media, lawyers, judges, legislators, police and military, helps drive, maintain and expand it, setting its policies, plotting and paving its path and enforcing its plans. The government is also tasked with selling its agenda to the public, minimizing people’s dissatisfaction, cracking down in case of an uprising and in general, protecting its interests and ensuring its smooth and uninterrupted functioning. When it needs to go to war or do a regime change, for example, it’s up to its representative government (and media) to prepare for and execute it. Notice, that the empire keeps the media in corporate hands to maximize public consent. When there is unrest, it’s again the government that gets involved. The government is also a conduit for setting and executing long term policies for empire. The elections it conducts give the empire’s owners an opportunity to select the best face and marketer of its policies. So, in short, the government acts as an hired executioner and should not be confused with the empire, which pays the salaries. Politicians, judges, news reporters, broadcasters, intelligence agents, military personnel, diplomats, as well as myriad organizations and governmental and non-governmental organizations and entities are the enablers and work for the empire.

So, whether it’s Hillary or Jeb Bush or Elizabeth Warner or Bernie Sanders who wants to be the next president, we must remember that what all these candidates want to become is the leader of the US Empire to continue to serve the class of owners. A just and free world will only be created with the dismantling and uprooting the Empire, not by continuing to maintain it and run it for the super wealthy. You won’t see a leader who would want to do that in TV advertisements and debates and will not be promoted by the corporations that make up the Empire. A leader who will want to really change things will be on the streets and will rise up in a popular movement like the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, which produced leaders like Dr. King and Malcolm X, who challenged the Empire and try to serve it. I’m not saying let’s ignore elections and pretend they don’t exist. In fact, we must use elections to debate issues among the people on the streets to raise their awareness, but, we must not be naive as to what such candidates will or will not do once elected and what and whom they would really represent.

Some would say: empires will always exist and there is nothing one can do about them. This line of thinking is the second line of defense the empire counts on. Those who pass through the first line of defense and aren’t deceived by empty and false rhetoric, promises and nationalism and have somewhat of a better understanding of the motives and agenda of the ruling class, are often caught by and turned away by this second line of defense, namely, apathy – the belief that it will always be like this and people are completely powerless. This is totally false. There is no government, no matter how strong, that can stop a determined and united people and their movement. This may sound like a slogan or cliche, but, it happens to be true and history proves it. Social movements do not appear out of nowhere and because of leaders like Dr. King, alone. Thousands of individuals whose names are never known contribute with their actions and teachings, individuals who break free of the prevalent brainwashing and apathy. Of course, it goes without saying that confronting and defeating the Empire is no easy task, especially in the age of the NSA and Homeland Security and violent police on the one hand and a relentless and nonstop brainwashing that starts from childhood and works on us every time we turn on the TV, on the other, but, their extreme caution and what seems like an overkill speaks to their ultimate weakness and insecurity. They know about the power people have against them, even if people themselves don’t.

US Denies Visa to Iranian Representative at the UN

The Obama Administration went along with both Democrats and Republicans and refused to grant a visa to Iran’s Ambassador to UN, Hamid Aboutalebi, to attend a UN meeting. With this act, the US is basically deciding for Iran who can and cannot be their UN ambassador. The UN is supposedly an international organization, independent of any country and the US is obligated to let member nations’ ambassadors attend its meetings.

This is yet another example of the incredible arrogance and hubris of the US government. The reason for the denial was that Mr. Aboutalebi was a member of the Muslim students organization whose members took the American embassy staff hostage during the 1979 revolution, even though that was 35 years ago, he was 21 at the time and did not himself take part in taking the hostages.

It may seem to those who aren’t familiar with the history, which the mainstream media will not discuss, that the act of taking those, who were supposedly diplomats and diplomatic staff, hostage was wrong and that the visa denial, though inappropriate and against international norms, is understandable. But, that view can only exist if we are ignorant of the facts that led to the hostage taking. The US was not in the country to do diplomacy. The US embassy did not house diplomats negotiating trade or facilitating cultural and social exchanges or guiding or aiding their citizens in case they needed help with cultural, social or legal issues of the host country that they might be unfamiliar and might need help with. The US was there to impose the will and agenda of the corporate Empire on the nation. They were there aiding and abetting a brutal unpopular dictator, keeping him in power against the will of the people, a dictator that they (the CIA) had helped return to power, after they overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, in a military coup. They were there as de facto occupiers and oppressors. Some of the embassy staff were CIA spies and agents, helping the regime identify anti-regime activists who were imprisoned, tortured and executed upon discovery. Some were there to train the police and military and pass on Pentagon directives to them. Others were there to impose the wishes of US corporations on the country, to ensure labor and natural resources remained cheap, environment was ignored and no laws were passed that would decrease profits for American corporations.

The US routinely uses its diplomatic missions and staff in various countries to spy and interfere with the internal affairs, policies and politics of the host nations, including committing coups, assassinations, sabotage and in some cases even providing its own military with actionable intelligence, which could then be used for bombing and other military actions. In fact, having been familiar with the history of their actions in Iran, I couldn’t help but see the striking similarities between their intervention and coup in Iran in 1953 and their recent intervention in Ukraine which resulted in the fall of the government there. Much of such actions are conducted from US embassies with the help of the State Department which is supposedly a diplomatic entity. It must also be mentioned that the Muslim students group that took the hostages was demanding the return of the Shah, who initially fled to the US before flying to Egypt, back to Iran to face trial.

All the American people hear and see from the Empire’s media, however, is that their embassy staff were taken hostage for no reason, at all. Maybe they too hated “our freedom”! Or could it be that they hate their freedom taken away from them?

Given all that the US has done to that country, including plotting with Saddam to invade the country in 1980, and then giving chemical weapons to him which he used against Iranian soldiers, during the 8 year war (CIA documents recently made public under the Freedom of Information Act shows complete US complicity, including even providing Iraq with coordinates of Iranian troop locations, knowing they would attack with chemical weapons), and then claiming ignorance when Iran complained to the UN, their cyber attacks against Iran’s atomic energy facilities, causing dangerous explosions in the reactors, and assassination, in the streets of Tehran, of four of Iran’s nuclear scientists by the CIA, not to mention the US Navy’s shooting down of a passenger airliner full of people on 3 July 1988 (IranAir Flight 655), killing all 290 of the passengers, it’s ironic that it’s the US that feels wronged and the need to retaliate by denying visa to the Iranian diplomat! When you’re standing on your head, you see everything upside down.

Noam Chomsky’s View of Free Speech

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Noam Chomsky: “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for those we despise, we don’t believe in it at all”. Now, who could argue against that? No one could and that’s because there is nothing wrong with it, just as there is nothing wrong with saying “be nice to everyone” or “love thy neighbor”.

And that’s the problem with a statement like this. It’s a general, abstract and moralistic comment, devoid of any real-life class content or meaning, that puts moral niceties above realities of the society, not realizing that such moral high grounds and ideas are only possible through a socioeconomic transformation that has as its goal the creation of classless society, which can only take place through a revolution, where the point isn’t respect for the “freedom of expression” for the ruling class, but their defeat, with all means available.

Professor Chomsky has made similar comments in more than one occasion, including in reference to Cuban revolutionaries. Such moralistic preachings can only be offered by those who are removed from the actual and day to day responsibilities involved in defeating the rule of capital, especially in the age of world imperialism, which uses all means necessary, including provocation, bribing and sabotage to prevent the success of a socialist state. To abide by such an admonition is to put moralistic ideas above the needs of the socioeconomic transformation, which will surely and necessarily invoke a full fledged and bonafide war from the ruling class – a ruling class which will do everything and use all means necessary to stop and prevent such transformation. It is such transformation that ultimately has as its main goal the creation of a classless society, where such “freedom of expression” can become reality – not just in theory, but in practice, too. What we need to do is defeat those who prevent such eventuality, not concern ourselves with their “freedom of expression”, at all cost, lest we be judged by liberals as non-democratic. Our concern should be the emancipation of the millions, the 99%, from the chains of capital, including achieving their freedom of expression, which only exists in theory in a capitalist society, but is taken away, as soon as the system is threatened. It’s like the kind of insurance that “covers” you, only while you don’t use it and keep paying its premiums. The minute you need it, they give you excuses why they won’t pay, after all. Their “freedom of expression” is an empty slogan and contingent upon its non-use when it’s most needed and when it has the potential to make a difference, that is, when it matters.

To abide by Chomsky’s admonition is to not take the task and needs of the revolution seriously, to invite the class enemy to organize against the revolution and its gains and push to undo those gains, using its incredible economic, political and social prowess, influence and know-how. Latin America has paid dearly for such misguided thinking, most glaringly in El Salvador and Nicaragua. In Venezuela, where the capitalist class has been left intact and free to continue its propaganda, slowly, but surely, and with the help of the CIA, is turning the tide against the unfinished, equivocal and pusillanimous building of socialism. It’s like rising up to drive out an occupying army that’s raping, plundering and massacring people, while at the same time, ensuring that the fight is “fair” and “equitable” by distributing resources and weapons equally among the people and the enemy because if we don’t believe in equality “for those we despise, then we don’t believe in it at all”. The fact is that the class of the 1% has a tremendous advantage over us. They don’t need our sympathy or act of “fairness” or equalization. To not understand revolution as a war is to not understand revolution, “at all”.

In Chomsky’s thinking, if the “freedom of expression” of the class enemy is not respected, then it must be out of hatred – that we “despise” them – and not because we want to uproot the system they represent and enjoy at the expense of everyone else. But, in fact, it’s neither about hatred, nor about some abstract moral idea. It’s about using all means necessary to defeat people’s enemies and build a world where there will no longer be the need for a coercive state tasked with imposing the will of one class over another. Coercive and repressive states are only necessary as a tool in the hands of one class against the other, which becomes necessary only in a class society. Dictatorship of one class over another which is the hallmark of a class society is the main reason for the existence of a repressive state. If the absence of dictatorship is what’s desired, then economic classes must be done away with since it’s class discrepancy, conflict and antagonism that necessitates and creates dictatorship and repression. But, to do away with classes, we must first organize and engage and defeat the ruling class, leaving our concern for “freedom of expression” for the heretofore oppressed masses, not those who have been denying them and want to continue to deny them that freedom. This has nothing to do with hatred and everything to do with fighting for a more just, equitable, peaceful and yes, democratic future world where by eliminating class divisions, we will simultaneously eliminate the need for one class ruling over and exerting dictatorship over another. Until classes and class differences are wiped out, “freedom of expression” will be a noble, but unreachable dream, that will only live in the minds of liberals, but not in real life for the masses.

If all this sounds too academic, consider this: should people let CNN, Fox News and others continue their lies and efforts at defending and supporting the ruling class, during and after a revolution, or should people confiscate their resources and broadcast their revolutionary messages and ideas, instead, in order to try and counter their brainwashing and ensure speedy, total and complete victory for the revolution? If your answer is the former, then you should ask yourselves: what’s the goal? To make sure everyone – whatever their current status, ability, power, class orientation and objectives, and regardless of the outcome of the struggle – has equal “freedom of expression”, or is the goal bigger than that?

Obama, Al Sharpton and the Empire

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It’s easy to dismiss the lunatics at Fox News whose shows are mostly paranoid cries about the white Christian man “losing” his stature and power and that Jesus is not getting the respect he used to get. One of their commentators recently complained that the movie “Noah” did not accurately portray what actually took place according to the Bible!

In contrast, it’s not so easy to dismiss MSNBC anchors. That’s because they’re not 5 year olds stuck in the body of grown ups whose audience includes those who still think the Sun goes around the Earth and that Jesus will return back to Earth from wherever he is now. They are, in contrast, among the most sophisticated advocates of the Empire and the most formidable adversaries and enemies of the working class.

The brainwashing of the American people does not and cannot take place in a homogeneous way. That would not be feasible or necessary. While the Empire benefits from the gross ignorance and naïveté of much of the population, in large part through the use of religion and fear – fear of blacks, Latinos, immigrants, gays, Muslims, etc. – it does not expect to keep everyone in dark ages. Nor does it need or want to. A significant portion of the population who are more educated, more enlightened, more tolerant and less frightened of minorities – some of whom are my Facebook friends – are herded by the more sophisticated and more liberal Democrats into a separate grazing area.

The US Empire has had some major victories and successes in the last couple of hundred years. The election of Barrack Obama will surely go down in history as one of such significant victories. To understand the significance of the Democrats for the Empire, and especially someone who is supported by most blacks and other minorities, one only needs to look at what Obama was able to accomplish for his bosses, which a fear mongering racist homophobic misogynist Bible wielding president wouldn’t and couldn’t.

It wasn’t just Obama’s idea to dismiss and shun Cornell West who criticizes the influence of Wall Street billionaires on the Administration and to embrace instead, with both arms, a low life traitor like Al Sharpton. In fact, his dismissal of the likes of West or even earlier, before his election into office, of Jeremiah Wright, who famously said during one of his sermons, “God damn America”, was understood by him as a requirement of his job, which he was happy to comply.

Sharpton who has the audacity to praise Dr. King, was not bothered at all by the fact that the FBI relentlessly pursued, persecuted and eventually helped eliminate the Civil Rights leader, when he was working as an informant for the Bureau, in 1980’s. He now calls himself a “refined agitator”, who no longer uses slurs such as “faggot” or “homos” and he no longer refers to Jews as “diamond merchants”. Yes, he’s refined alright. He can now be much more useful to the Empire as a black man “defending” voting rights for blacks and protesting racial killings of unarmed black teenagers in the hands of armed white men claiming self-defense, and giving legitimacy to the President than a homophobic, antiemetic FBI informant ever could. Besides, he’s making much more money this way. His “salary” just from National Action Network where he’s president and CEO is over $241,000, not to mention his salary from MSNBC, where all he does is defend Obama. But, like Obama, he knows where his limits are. You won’t hear this “refined agitator” talk about the poverty and unemployment among the African American population which is at the highest level in 50 years or their continued disproportional incarceration or the police beatings, or the fact that during Obama’s presidency, 95% of the generated wealth went to the top 1%. Like his boss, Obama, he’s being put into use much more effectively for the billionaire bosses than being an informant for the same Bureau which had Dr. King on its kill list. Now, he defends Obama’s “kill list” and remains quiet about Guantanamo and the genocide against Palestinians by the racist apartheid state of Israel. “Refined” indeed!